Check out my building blog to learn more about construction for your home or office in Austin! David L. Traut, President, CAPS Certified (512)444-0097

David L. Traut, CAPS Member in Austin, Texas/Aging in Place Design

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Thu, Jul 27, 2023 @ 09:07 AM

The biggest and most important challenge for any homeowner wanting to increase home accessibility using Universal Design to Age in Place is qualifying a chosen builder or remodeler. Consumers must verify the tradesman or professional has both the experience and knowledge for understanding any requirements used to increase the client’s safety and accessibility within the home. This is the only variable a homeowner controls in the building process. You are about to give a complete stranger your trust in a very serious matter of which you most likely know little about beyond articles read on the internet or hearsay. All professionals selected must be knowledgeable and experienced concerning Universal Design projects. The relevant personnel having job input concerning the client consist of architects, designers, builders, remodelers, and any therapists or extended healthcare workers who are involved with any household occupant requiring home modifications. I have witnessed clients who are completely overwhelmed and frustrated when interviewing several groups of building professionals including subcontractors with overlapping scopes of work. They become confused by the large amount of information gathered. Be advised that too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil a successful job outcome. CAPS certified accessibility specialists are trained to be better capable of helping with both the design and construction phases of the project. Most CAPS members have had coursework in Universal Design. However, you would not choose a recent law graduate over an experienced defense attorney to represent you in a serious matter. Even though both people have law degrees, there is only one path to choose. The remodeling business is no exception. All CAPS certified professionals are not equal. Some come from different professional backgrounds other than construction while others have not used their acquired knowledge long enough to make a difference. Ask about their experience and how long they have practiced Aging in Place remodeling. A well-seasoned contractor has seen what issues frequently come up in making improvements for Aging in Place and knows which methods he or she has used to overcome certain problematic areas of the home.

Aging in Place remodeling in Austin

The aging societal changes and inventory of inaccessible existing houses created the need for a CAPS certification program. This designation program, offered through the National Association of Home Builders, NAHB, in collaboration with The American Association of Retired Persons or AARP, incorporates components of assessment, technical knowledge and management skills related to home modifications used to help people stay at home safely and independently for a longer period of time. The program was developed in 2001. The CAPS program connects responsible professionals with home owners needing specialized accessibility services on an ever increasing basis. Ordinary homeowners with extraordinary challenges partner up with experienced CAPS professionals and their own families. Working as a team, the trained CAPS specialist along with any family caretakers or therapists is able to identify the day to day problems weighing on those with health limitations. Aging in Place services provided by a specialized remodeling contractor ensures all accessibility issues of the home are accomplished correctly. The CAPS credential is a nationwide initiative and many construction and design professionals are taking advantage of the helpful training across the nation. Always check his or her credentials to verify the remodeler holds an active CAPS certification and is familiar with Universal Design. All registered CAPS program graduates and remodeling companies are listed in a national registry in Washington DC. The information is found by calling 1-800-368-5242 or by simply visiting their website at: http:www.nahb.org/en/learn/designations/certified-aging-in-place-specialist.aspx.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

Experienced CAPS certified remodelers have the knowledge, expertise and sensitivity to provide modifications for making a home safer, more accessible, and better suited to the client’s required needs. A professional CAPS certified builder or remodeler is able to correctly assess the costs associated with an accessible design and lead the homeowner in the right direction adhering to the available budget costs to accomplish the modifications needed. Home modifications, accessibility products, and barrier free design greatly promote the independence and functional ability of physically challenged and aging individuals. Designing around specific physical conditions for accessibility lessens the impact of arthritis, restricted mobility, or loss of vision by using combinations of products, concepts, and techniques available today. Keep in mind when hiring a Certified Aging in Place Specialist they offer a service rather than a product. Each CAPS member draws from a different knowledge base, and approaches each project in a distinct way.

T-Square Company in Austin, Texas, has been producing successful Aging in Place projects for over a decade. They are a CAPS certified remodeler and offering design/build Aging in Place projects using Universal Design features. Call 512-444-0097 to discuss your project today and learn how you can achieve better accessibility within your existing home.

Incidentally, David L. Traut, the President/owner of T-Square Company has recently published a book entitled "Age in Place at Home: Adapting the Home Environment for All Generations". It is available on Amazon and stands as a reference book for increasing home accessibility incorporating essential Universal Design features.

Download Our Free Aging In Place Remodeling Considerations Checklist

Tags: aging in place remodeling, aging in place home modifications, handicap home modifications, CAPS certified remodeling in Austin, ADA compliance, custom tub to shower conversions, CAPS remodeling techniques, Universal Design,, aging in place services, certified aging in place specialist, accessibility designs Austin Texas, home modifications for independent living Austin, universal design ideas, certified aging in place consultant in Austin, age in place home design, aging in place home remodeling, 7 principles of universal design, Austin disability contractors for special needs, Austin handicap bathroom contractor, barrier free remodeling, handicap accessible home modifications, disability remodeling, ADA compliant wheelchair accessible showers, accessible bathroom remodel, why universal design, accessible homes in austin, the basics of aging in place, Austin home modification services, Age in Place at Home, Professional Disability Remodeling Contractor, CAPS-certified remodeling in Dripping Springs, Universal Design for Disabilities, Barrier-free designs, home accessibility help

What Is A Forever Home?/Why Is Universal Design So Important?

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Fri, Jun 16, 2023 @ 10:06 AM

Have you grown tired and frustrated over time when periodic health challenges emerge affecting you or a family member identifying your home as inaccessible, if even for a short time during recovery? Have you observed other families facing this common dilemma? Are you coming to the realization yours and almost all other existing homes lack flexibility or adaptability having reached their potential? An accident or illness brings the undeniable need for home access out into the open. If you have suddenly become caregiver for your spouse or another family member, you know you are not alone in recognizing this dysfunctional housing phenomenon. Many home caregivers face challenges inside their private residences because traditional homes lack accessibility due to their antiquated architecture. There simply isn't enough room to properly care for another person within a given living space. But where did this commonly seen lack of home accessibility in nearly all homes come from? Perpetual, status quo building techniques, and affordability provide the answers. Over time, along with the exponential birth rate of the baby boomers in the late 40s and 50s, the need for more housing created sprawling American suburbs to accommodate the growing families. Developments sprang up with few architectural options while affordability was the main concern. Today, these same homes slowly and increasingly signify outdated and obsolete architectural barriers exposing a true lack of accessibility for the very people inhabiting them. The situation is ever more expanding in time since the greatest majority of individuals want to age where they currently reside. Our homes are built for shelter, but their construction is guided by designs and dimensions demonstrating a denial or ignorance of true human abilities.  It is acknowledged any family living with a disability among any of its family members always psychologically benefits from familiar surroundings. Therefore, moving is not always the best option. Fortunately it doesn't have to be this way with correct planning.

Because everyone is living longer, they will experience many life-challenging events during their extended lifespan. The desire to remain in one's current home is not driven by age. This need is a reaction to and the result of life's experience. The universal design principles are used to increase safety and independence within most current homes. Certain common sense home modifications are typically required to increase accessibility and use. These modifications include, but are not limited to, no-step entrances, wider doorways, the installation of ramps, inclusive kitchen modifications, accessible bathroom adaptations, and the application of smooth, non-skid flooring. When planning on what modifications are needed, always make a list of the existing home's most problematic areas for any or all of its residents. This basic desire is creating unprecedented nationwide challenges and a niche market in the remodeling industry known as Aging in Place. The majority of Americans over the age of 45 want to continue living in an environment they are well acquainted with throughout their maturing years. These people are looking for safety, security, ease of use, and comfort for their forever home before they must vacate due to specialized needs. Clearly, the act of Aging in Place occurs during a period of time when mature homeowners or seniors have the ability to make decisions to better support an increased quality of life. There are three segments served within the Aging in Place marketplace. The first segment includes those homeowners without urgent needs. The second segment focuses on a group of homeowners with progressive health needs. The third sector involves those people who have undergone traumatic health changes or accidental injuries necessitating immediate modifications to the home. The choice to Age in Place does not mean the homeowner has to do everything in the future by themselves. Aging in Place principles supports responsible people living life with dignity and independence even when outside assistance is essential.

But why should we eventually all face the disruptions of modifying our domains to ensure we can remain in them following a health change in life?  It is long past due for us to redefine the built environment with what we know to be true. The answer lies within a forever home. This unique home opens up all rooms to all visitors. A forever home is a home you can imagine living in for a lifetime and one that will meet the needs of all residents throughout their lives. This thoughtful living environment is designed and constructed universally to conform to all residents diverse needs and abilities at any age. A forever home is unlike a starter home, and each occurs at different times during a homeowner's life. A starter home is a smaller home needed when you are starting out. This home represents a stepping stone and is a popular option concerning younger homeowners because it's more affordable. The forever home has the ability, through proactive planning and existing home modifications, for a family or all family members to live in the house for a very long time prior to anyone needing full time professional assistance. This home contains accessibility for everyone, regardless of their age, size, or abilities. During life's voyage, the forever home should become a reality as early as possible. This reality means the family can enjoy the comfortable and livable home longer. It has adequate access through wider entries and doorways, a larger kitchen, larger bathrooms, larger bedrooms, and an accessible front and back yard. The more expensive larger forever home has room to comfortably maneuver about when mobility devices or strollers are needed because architectural barriers are nonexistent.

If you have had enough of the status-quo building techniques which created our inaccessible home inventory, you and your family can put your collective thoughts together in order to design and build a house that will last a lifetime. You don't have to discard your favorite design pictures or ideas. The same elevations can be incorporated into the forever home; but rearranged into a Universal Design floorplan. Key questions should be addressed for this uber-customized home. Your family is aware of any lifestyle challenges you face due to progressive diseases or hereditary complications within the group. You know everyone gets older, and in doing so some member might lose cognitive or mobility functions. Your new uncluttered universal floorplan will accommodate a young family with children or an unexpected in-law coming to live with you. It is easy to maneuver inside this universal home going from a completely accessible bathroom to a family gathering in the adaptable kitchen accompanied by a well designed living area. Within the house, you should plan flexible rooms which will accommodate double and triple duty as needed by your family over time. Designing a forever home has many benefits including emotional, economic, and environmental aspects. What's more, you are building a multi-generational setting that can be passed on to the following generations. 

Aging In Place Home Modifications

Wheelchair Accessible Universal Design Kitchen in Austin

 

According to the AARP, 80 percent of older homeowners overwhelmingly prefer to Age in Place, which means living in a home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level. People with disabilities are aging but some healthy individuals are aging into a disability. Aging in Place strictly deals with the remodeling of existing homes. Therefore, to Age in Place, owners need to gradually modify their homes as they mature by increasing access and safety using the principles of Universal Design before a life-changing event forces making sudden architectural changes. The Aging in Place market in the U.S. today is influenced by the increasing size of the aging population, the market desire to remain in one's home, a constantly increasing cultural diversity, and the aging housing stock associated with reduced affordability. The desire to remain in existing homes is driven by social attachments via a network of neighbors, friends, and family. Comfortable positive aging is a way of living rather than a state of being. What's more, seniors who took a proactive approach in modifying their homes over time offer peace of mind to their loved ones or caretakers who know their family members are living safely and independently in their homes. 

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

 

T-Square Company is one of Austin's premier Aging in Place contractors offering complete Aging in Place services from home assessments to design/builds. We have over 30 years of accessibility knowledge to share with our clients making their home life less complicated. We hold a nationally recognized CAPS certification (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) offered by the National Association of Home Builders, NAHB. Contact T-Square Company today to find out how to proceed toward an accessible second chapter of life while your aging parents remain in their home. We offer complete Aging in Place design services.

By the way, David Traut, the President/owner of T-Square Company has recently published a book entitled "Age in Place at Home: Adapting the Home Environment for All Generations". It is available on Amazon and stands as a reference book for increasing home accessibility through Universal Design.

Download Our Free Aging In Place Remodeling Considerations Checklist

Tags: aging in place remodeling, aging in place home modifications, aging in place home improvements in Austin, frameless European, aging in place designs, accessible home remodeling, Universal Design,, aging in place services, home modifications for independent living Austin, universal design ideas, Austin senior living solutions, certified aging in place consultant in Austin, aging in place specialist in Austin, universal design remodeling contractor, 7 principles of universal design, applying principles of universal design in Austin, Austin disability contractors for special needs, barrier free remodeling, accessible homes, universal design/build contractor, why universal design, what is universal design in Austin, what is aging in place, universal design techniques, accessible home builder in Austin, the basics of aging in place, barrier free home design, Disability Remodeling Services in Austin, Texas, Universal Design for Disabilities, aging in place services for seniors in Austin, Barrier-free designs, forever home, aging parents caregiver guide, houses designed to last a lifetime

What is Universal Design and the Seven Principles Involved?

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, May 16, 2023 @ 08:05 AM

Perhaps you haven't personally experienced a problematic living situation concerning your home yet, but you might know someone who has. It could concern a family member, a friend, or just a person in your neighborhood. These unfortunate scenarios are too common in our society, as everyone is living longer due to modern medicine; but this situation is not age-related. Health problems can appear unexpectedly at any age. Our traditional homes commonly lack accessibility for any residents or their visitors who are even slightly challenged. The truth is, all of our houses are built for unchallenged, healthy people of a "normal" size. The moment any diversity to what each of us knows as near perfect health expresses itself, the realization we need a better and more adaptable "mousetrap" comes to mind in regards to our home. The doors in the house aren't wide enough, the rooms are too small, the hallway is too narrow, the floors aren't level or are slippery, the stairs aren't negotiable, the bathroom facilities aren't useable, and the kitchen is not user- friendly. The list goes on-and-on when you are living in a status-quo home. But now people can become educated and know what to ask for before a life-changing problem arises. Rest assured, you have the ability to proactively prepare your traditional home for future life changes before they happen. Hence, there is no need for you or your family to suddenly become trapped inside it's walls! Let's come to understand a design solution exists which has been stigmatized because of it's decades-long association with disability. Learn to ask for it by name.

Universal Design, also known as barrier-free design and design for all, refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to non-challenged people, older people, people of any age who are mentally or physically challenged, and people overcoming an illness or physically-altering accident. In general, it represents a universal need in future housing and pertains to adding safety and accessibility in an existing home for all people regardless of their size or physical well being at any time. The purpose of the design is to provide equal access to anyone into and throughout the home. Universal Design adaptations have a broad market appeal to everyone for achieving ease-of-use and convenience accommodating a certain reality. The reality is that all people exist along a continuum of human performance as per their personal traits and characteristics regardless of their age. A universal approach to design takes into account that everyone has varying degrees of ability and disability; rather than someone is either fully-functional or disabled. Universal Design is neither a design style or trend but is an approach to designing home access for as wide a range of diverse people as possible.

As a solution to our inaccessible housing predicament, applying Universal Design is important because current design standards for housing do not address the design needs of more than one-third of our population. Too often, the designers of homes allow the built environment to define the capabilities of the resident, rather than the opposite being true. That has always been the problem evidenced by the current inaccessible housing inventory. People typically purchase a house according to their needs of the day, never considering their future needs. This way of thinking has perpetuated the problem of inaccessibility within traditional homes. Incorporating Universal Design principles into today's houses allows for our antiquated architecture to be redefined by both our changing human needs and abilities. It has the ability to span all generations of inhabitants. The sooner the principles exist in a home, the longer it can be enjoyed by everyone; because no one is excluded. Home accessibility should be a concern no matter what your age. If your concerns are not for you, barring any life changing accident, they could concern the accessibility and safety for another generation's independence. As we become more life-experienced, our society is beginning to realize our homes should be flexible to accommodate future life changes. This benefit alone will afford adapted housing the ability to conform to our needs. Hence, society will understand the significance of a forever home. The physical life changes involved can be long-term or of short duration while recovering from an accident or disease. Regardless, the home is prepared for what comes next through the use of Universal Design.

The recent Aging in Place phenomena deals with reactive home modifications to existing homes due to health changes of one or more residents. The adaptations allow the inhabitants to remain within their home safely as they age. A planned Universal Design home quietly and proactively addresses abrupt issues without calling attention to anyone. The design simply anticipates the homeowner's changing needs. The modifications can be performed room by room overtime or all at once. Furthermore, Universal Design segues seamlessly into what is required for Aging in Place. However, we cannot conceive or solve all future situations for everyone because we all age differently with our own list of specific needs. In extreme cases, a specialized accessibility design comes into play customized around a single person's needs.

But what about the costs involved in a home using Universal Design? Utilizing Universal Design in a new build home isn't necessarily more expensive than a status-quo traditional inaccessible home. It generally approaches a three-to-four-percent overall increase. The same building techniques are involved in both; but the Universal Design home is designed with more forethought and expertise to improve safety, accessibility, and comfort. Consequently, if you are remodeling an existing home, incorporating the principles of Universal Design, it is more costly on the order of fifteen-to-twenty-percent because you not only have the updated building costs to consider but the demolition costs as well. The same remodeling costs for the preparation of a revised layout are involved with any type renovation prior to the modifications beginning, whether the final appearance is traditional or universal in nature. 

Universal Design/Builds in Austin by T-Square Company

Basically, Universal Design principles involve the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Using Universal Design, there are seven design criteria which must be met to be considered a Universal Design no matter which area of the home you are referring to. Any design must be (1) equally useful to everyone, (2) have flexibility in it's usefulness, (3) be simple and intuitive, (4) be perceived by everyone, (5) have a tolerance for error, (6) require little physical effort, and (7) it must maintain an adequate area for approach and use. Any complexity or discriminating attribute to a design will doom it in terms of  being considered universal in nature. However, what better way can you improve on a home's total visitability?  The term visitability pertains to anyone entering freely into a home, having unrestricted maneuverability throughout the home, and having the ability to enter and utilize a bathroom's facilities without assistance. 

Discover the Principles Of Universal Design

Whether you refer to this needed housing revolution today as accessible design, inclusive design, or Universal Design, it is all about making a home safe, attractive, and easy to use for all residents. It has nothing to do with the age, agility, or status of life for anyone living within the home. The main intent of this way of thinking is to be sure the inhabitants and their visitors are equally able to enjoy their home throughout their entire lifetime. This way Aging in Place can be accomplished without the expense and hassle of having to make periodic or interfering abrupt changes to the home to meet a person's ever-changing physical needs. With Universal Design, you have the ability to proactively plan for all stages of your life cycle using forethought which, once discovered, you ultimately find is just common sense. Even if you are in perfect health, you can be disrupted by a minor mishap. A more serious injury changes things forever once you no longer have all your abilities.  Universal design ideas do not strictly deal with accessibility or Aging in Place design and does not implement precise ADA standards; but it does offer flexibility to add accessories now and later to those planning ahead or to the end-user. It also provides for a wide range of human performance characteristics for the way people use spaces within their homes including well integrated usability features. Hence, a Universal Design/build project is appealing to all users.  

Can you envision building a house as a young adult that you can live in safely and comfortably while you age no matter what your basic physical needs require? In this home, visitors are never problematic if they exhibit limited mobility or other issues. This flexible Universal Design home contains wider doorways of 36-inches or more and adequately lit hallway widths of 42-48-inches to accommodate a stroller, wheelchair or walker. There is a wide-open feeling of comfort throughout the house's main living areas in the bathroom, kitchen, and living area that do not restrict moving about. A five-foot turning radius is observed throughout the home. Wood blocking is installed behind the finished walls in all wet areas to accommodate secure grab bar installations at the proper time. The towel racks in the kitchen are installed so they can double as grab bars once you become unsteady from lack of balance. All the no-step entryways from the front door to the shower entrance are smooth to prevent tripping from high thresholds and all flooring transitions are level. Non-slip flooring is installed, especially in wet areas, using cork or smaller floor tiles which in turn increase friction from the grout lines. All doors and faucets are controlled by lever hardware. Sinks inside the bathroom and kitchen have roll-under capability. Within the sink base cabinets, doors or roll-out shelving are installed until the roll-under design is needed. Full-extension drawers and pull-out shelves are installed in lieu of doors. The cabinet tops and work areas throughout the house are placed at varying heights to promote adaptability. This universal designed home is barrier-free without looking modified and is accessible to everyone no matter their age, size, or capability of movement. Furthermore, this home is usable by everyone from your father to your son.

David L. Traut, CAPS the owner of T-Square Company in Austin, Texas is one of the select group of professionals to earn the Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, identifying him as a home remodeler and builder with the skills and knowledge necessary to remodel or modify a home to meet the unique needs of the older population, disabled owners, or their visitors. Consequently, David is certified in Universal Design in the US and Australia. T-Square Company is a Universal Design contractor offering a full compliment of Aging in Place services including bathroom modifications for elderly clients with special needs. Each design/build project contains the principles of Universal Design. The modifications will be customized to fit your personal needs while increasing your accessibility. Call 512-444-0097 today to begin the accessible second chapter of your life while remaining safe and secure in your existing home. CAPS #1636580

As an answer to his clients requests over the years, David has recently published a book entitled "Age in Place at Home: Adapting the Home Environment for All Generations". The book reflects on thirty years of accessibility improvements and identifies why our traditional homes specifically lack this very basic need. It is available on Amazon and stands as a reference book for increasing home accessibility using the principles of Universal Design in every room of the home. The book dwells on this inclusive design concept as a solution to our current housing dilemma.

     Certified Aging In Place Specialist

 

Tags: CAPS certified remodeling in Austin, Austin accessible home remodeling, certified aging in place consultant in Austin, bathroom modifications for disabled in Austin, TX, aging in place specialist in Austin, home modifications for children with disabilities, why is aging in place important, what does it mean to age in place, universal design building for a lifetime, universal designbuilding for the future, what is universal design, home remodeling contractor near Austin, Texas, home remodeling for disabled in Austin Texas, wheelchair accessible home remodeling in Austin, universal design kitchen ideas, universal design remodeling techniques, universal design remodeling contractor, universal design building contractor, why is universal design important, universal design principles, 7 principles of universal design, Austin Senior Home Remodeling, Austin disability contractors for special needs, barrier free remodeling, barrier free design, barrier free home design, Austin home modification services, ADA Contractor/Austin, Texas, CAPS-certified remodeling in Dripping Springs, Universal design construction in Austin, Universal Design for Disabilities, Barrier-free designs, forever home, barrier free bathroom layout

Aging In Place Specialist David L. Traut, CAPS in Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Mon, Apr 24, 2023 @ 07:04 AM

If you have made a decision, along with the support of your family, to remain in your existing home while you Age in Place, you must determine a definite pathway forward to ensure your desires are successfully met. This is a sign of the times as today over 80% of homeowners share your desire to remain in their familiar home, surrounded by familiar surroundings and neighbors. Amongst any caregivers involved in your life, you will also need to obtain help from a trained and seasoned Certified Aging in Place Specialist.

Fortunately, construction and design professionals are taking advantage of the CAPS training across the nation. This designation is taught through the National Association of Home Builders in collaboration with AARP. CAPS connects responsible professionals with home owners who need these services on an ever-increasing basis. CAPS stands for Certified Aging in Place Specialist. It is a construction credential that has builders, architects, remodelers, designers and even occupational therapists buzzing. Aging in Place principles are changes designed to custom fit your existing home to you and your family's needs as time goes by. CAPS design takes your current and future circumstances into consideration and the principles focus on elegant, aesthetically enriching, barrier-free environments. Home modifications do not need to look institutional and this is why many seniors are resisting the very changes that can help them the most. Be aware, the vast majority of uncertified builders and remodelers do not have the knowledge and training to perform home modifications for Aging in Place. Take for instance when you are considering installing a grab bar, which seems like a simple endeavor, understand that a run of the mill contractor or handyman has no idea of the safety regulations involved or the knowledge concerning where and how to install the grab bar. This leaves the consumer in an unsafe predicament. However, if performed correctly, any modifications will actually increase the value of your home because they appeal to multiple generations of home buyers. 

David L. Traut, CAPS the owner of T-Square Company in Austin, Texas is one of the select group of professionals to earn the Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, identifying him as a home remodeler and builder with the skills and knowledge necessary to remodel or modify a home to meet the unique needs of the older population, disabled owners, or their visitors. T-Square Company offers a full compliment of Aging in Place services for their clientele. These services include the initial home assessment, a design followed by a detailed drawing, all city permits and fees, and the construction or remodeling work involved. David has been successfully operating as a CAPS professional for nearly thirty years while performing his design/build projects. His clients include many members of the private sector, the VA, and HUD. David is a CAPS certified remodeler and master builder providing a one-stop-shop which is even more valuable to anyone wanting to Age in Place. As a master craftsman, his construction knowledge enables any Aging in Place design to come to fruition via practicality and best practices. 

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

David always practices what he preaches to his clients. He takes an inductive qualitative research approach with every client, because everyone has diverse physical needs. As an answer to his clients requests over the years, he has recently published a book entitled "Age in Place at Home: Adapting the Home Environment for All Generations". The book reflects on thirty years of accessibility improvements and identifies why our traditional homes specifically lack this very basic need. It is available on Amazon and stands as a reference book for increasing home accessibility using the principles of Universal Design in every room of the home. David is certified in the United States and Australia in the Universal Design process. Universal Design elements can be installed into a home at any time avoiding the need for reactive remodeling following a health crisis. This thoughtful proactive design process segues seamlessly into what is required for Aging in Place. Furthermore, Universal Design prevents the need to perform future modifications except under extreme circumstances. The presence of Universal Design provides access for both wheelchairs and walkers and perhaps avoids future injuries because you have accessibility. 

Discover the Principles Of Universal Design

For additional information about the CAPS program, visit nahb.org/CAPS.  For more information about T-Square Company, visit www.tsquareco.com or call 512-444-0097 to schedule a home assessment by a local Austin CAPS professional.

So, just exactly what takes place once you schedule a home assessment? During the home assessment for increasing accessibility, the structural changes needed for the client will be noted and documented through sketches, photos, and conversation. CAPS professionals are generally paid by the hour or receive a flat fee per initial visit or project because they are offering a service backed by education and experience. Typically an assessment takes approximately 60-90 minutes. It’s best if you or a family member can accompany the CAPS professional during the home safety assessment, as you or they can ask questions about specific safety items as they come up. The comprehensive Home Safety Assessment determines a direct and safe path forward for you, the client. You will have a better chance of avoiding the high cost and physical disruptions of future injuries leading to assisted living. All the surroundings within your home will be taken into account from the flooring to the layout of a specific room or location as it pertains to the your ease of use. Your physical and emotional needs also come into play because of mobility, sensory, or cognitive concerns. The goal is to modify the home in a custom manner to provide for your maximum health, independence, and safety. Often the input from any caretakers like a physical or occupational therapist during the assessment phase can prove to be invaluable. The three main rooms involved in Aging in Place home modifications are the bathroom, the kitchen, and the family room in that order. The basic needs involve access through wider doorways, level non-slip floor surfaces, and lower cabinets with plumbing fixture accessibility like roll-under sinks with easily operated lever controls. 

Aging in Place Bathroom Modifications in Austin

Aging in Place Bathroom Modifications in Austin

Quite often it is the home that presents the greatest difficulties for homeowners accompanied by limited mobility or other physical impairments as they age in their existing surroundings. Designing for specific physical conditions will lessen the impact of arthritis, restricted mobility, or loss of vision by using combinations of products, concepts, and techniques available today. Keeping safety in mind, interior modifications commonly include adding grab bars or handrails throughout the home, installing ramps or vertical platform lifts, lowering upper cabinets and countertops to Universal Design heights, adding non-slip flooring, widening hallways or installing stairlifts, and widening doors. You might also consider lowering light switches and thermostats and installing easier-to-use door levers or electric door openers. Try to provide a clear barrier-free path or accessible route to the most visited areas of your home like a disability access bath containing a roll-in ADA compatible shower, the kitchen, and the family room.

 

Download Our Free Aging In Place Remodeling Considerations Checklist

 

Tags: barrier free access, CAPS certification, CAPS certified remodeling in Austin, aging in place construction, CAPS remodeling techniques, disability home remodeling in Austin, aging in place services, aging in place design,, elder construction, certified aging in place specialist, Austin elder construction, handicap home modifications for disabled, handicap remodeling contractors, roll in showers, handicap bathrooms, universal design/build, Austin Accessibility Design, Austin senior living solutions, Austin accessible home remodeling, certified aging in place consultant in Austin, bathroom modifications for disabled in Austin, TX, aging in place specialist in Austin, senior aging in place services, home modifications for children with disabilities, what does it mean to age in place, aging in place home remodeling, home remodeling for disabled in Austin Texas, wheelchair accessible home remodeling in Austin, austin texas wheelchair accessible showers, home remodeling for seniors Austin, Austin Senior Home Remodeling, remodeling for elders in Austin, disability and special needs contractor Austin, bathrooms with disability access in Austin, Texas, Austin disability contractors for special needs, Austin handicap bathroom contractor, handicap accessible remodeling, barrier free remodeling, handicap accessible bathroom remodeling, handicap accessible home renovations, handicap accessible home modifications, disability remodeling, handicap accessible bathroom remodel, Austin aging in place specialist, what is aging in place, Age in Place at Home, Disability Remodeling Services in Austin, Texas, disability and special needs contractors in Austin, universal design and accessibility in Austin, Barrier-free designs, forever home, home accessibility help

Forever Homes/Aging Parents Caregiver Guide

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, Apr 11, 2023 @ 11:04 AM

If you have suddenly become caregiver for your aging parents, you are not alone. Everyone is living longer only to experience many life-challenging events during an extended lifespan, but some people require a little assistance. It could involve technology issues or helping them determine a path forward while living in their home. Many aspects are involved with senior living solutions, and the correct route is determined on an individual family basis. The desire to remain in one's current home is not driven by age. This need is a reaction to and the result of life's experience. Any family living with a disability among any of its family members will always benefit from familiar surroundings. To increase safety and independence within your current home, certain modifications to increase accessibility and use are typically required. These modifications include but are not limited to wider doorways, the installation of ramps, inclusive kitchen modifications, accessible bathroom modifications, and the application of smooth, non-skid flooring. When planning on what modifications are needed, always make a list of the home's most problematic areas for any or all of its residents. This basic desire is creating unprecedented nationwide challenges and a niche market in the remodeling industry known as Aging in Place. The majority of Americans over the age of 45 want to continue living in an environment they are well acquainted with throughout their maturing years. These people are looking for safety, security, ease of use, and comfort for their forever home before they must vacate due to specialized needs.

A forever home is unlike a starter home, and each occurs at different times during a resident's life. A starter home is a smaller home needed when you are starting out. It represents a stepping stone. This is a popular option concerning younger homeowners because it's more affordable. The forever home has the ability, through proactive planning and existing home modifications, for a family or all family members to live in the house for a very long time prior to anyone needing full time professional assistance. This home contains accessibility for everyone, regardless of their age, size, or abilities. During life's voyage, the forever home should become a reality as early as possible. This reality means the family can enjoy the comfortable home longer. It has adequate access through wider entries and doorways, a larger kitchen, larger bathrooms, larger bedrooms, and an accessible front and back yard. The more expensive larger forever home has room to comfortably maneuver about when using mobility devices since architectural barriers are nonexistent. 

Aging In Place Home Modifications

But where did this commonly seen lack of home accessibility in nearly all homes come from? Perpetual, status quo building techniques, and affordability provide the answers. Over time, along with the exponential birth rate of the baby boomers in the late 40s and 50s, the need for more housing created sprawling American suburbs to accommodate the growing families. Developments sprang up with few architectural options while affordability was the main concern. Today, these same homes slowly and increasingly signify outdated and obsolete architectural barriers exposing a true lack of accessibility for the very people inhabiting them. The situation is ever more expanding in time since the greatest majority of individuals want to age where they currently reside. 

Aging In Place Remodel in Austin

According to the AARP, 80 percent of older homeowners overwhelmingly prefer to Age in Place, which means living in a home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level. People with disabilities are aging but some healthy individuals are aging into a disability. Aging in Place strictly deals with the remodeling of existing homes. Therefore, to Age in Place, owners need to gradually modify their homes as they mature by increasing access and safety using the principles of Universal Design before a life-changing event forces making sudden architectural changes. The Aging in Place market in the U.S. today is influenced by the increasing size of the aging population, the market desire to remain in one's home, a constantly increasing cultural diversity, and the aging housing stock associated with reduced affordability. The desire to remain in existing homes is driven by social attachments via a network of neighbors, friends, and family. Comfortable positive aging is a way of living rather than a state of being.  What's more, seniors who took a proactive approach in modifying their homes over time offer peace of mind to their loved ones or caretakers who know their family members are living safely and independently in their homes. 

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

Clearly, the act of Aging in Place occurs during a period of time when mature homeowners or seniors have the ability to make decisions to better support an increased quality of life. There are three segments served within the Aging in Place marketplace. The first segment includes those homeowners without urgent needs. The second segment focuses on a group of homeowners with progressive health needs. The third sector involves those people who have undergone traumatic health changes or accidental injuries necessitating immediate modifications to the home. The choice to Age in Place does not mean the homeowner has to do everything in the future by themselves. Aging in Place principles supports responsible people living life with dignity and independence even when outside assistance is essential.

T-Square Company is one of Austin's premier Aging in Place contractors offering complete Aging in Place services from home assessments to design/builds. We have over 30 years of accessibility knowledge to share with our clients making their home life less complicated. We hold a nationally recognized CAPS certification (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) offered by the National Association of Home Builders, NAHB. Contact T-Square Company today to find out how to proceed toward an accessible second chapter of life while your aging parents remain in their home. We offer complete Aging in Place design services.

By the way, David Traut, the President/owner of T-Square Company has recently published a book entitled "Age in Place at Home: Adapting the Home Environment for All Generations". It is available on Amazon and stands as a reference book for increasing home accessibility through Universal Design.

Download Our Free Aging In Place Remodeling Considerations Checklist

Tags: aging in place remodeling, aging in place home modifications, aging in place home improvements in Austin, frameless European, aging in place designs, accessible home remodeling, Universal Design,, aging in place services, home modifications for independent living Austin, universal design ideas, Austin senior living solutions, certified aging in place consultant in Austin, aging in place specialist in Austin, universal design remodeling contractor, 7 principles of universal design, applying principles of universal design in Austin, Austin disability contractors for special needs, barrier free remodeling, accessible homes, universal design/build contractor, why universal design, what is universal design in Austin, what is aging in place, universal design techniques, accessible home builder in Austin, the basics of aging in place, barrier free home design, Disability Remodeling Services in Austin, Texas, Universal Design for Disabilities, aging in place services for seniors in Austin, forever home, aging parents caregiver guide

Barrier-Free Remodels by T-Square Company/Increase Home Accessibility

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Wed, Mar 15, 2023 @ 12:03 PM

Disability is a complex phenomenon representing an interaction between one's physical impairments, the activities one needs to perform, and the architectural barriers within the space in which this situation occurs. Each individual demonstrates the complexity with similar impairments describing his or her limitations differently. The blind don't experience their world the same as a person with deafness. Some of our societal statistics that weigh into Aging in Place situations include reports stating that 19% of the population between the ages of 16 and 64 and 42% of those of us 65 and over have a physical disability affecting the activities of their daily lives.

The situation holds true for adults, and for children with special needs. The building world must work in unison to be sure the entire living environment meets basic needs in addition to affordability and structural integrity for the consumer and homeowner.  This includes the home and the components within the home being accessible to all inhabitants needing it most once architectural barriers become a recognized problem for any particular family member regardless of age or ability.  Privacy, a sense of belonging, a sense of control, and the sense of safety and security make up the quality of life for any home and should be considered for any barrier-free design.

barrier-free wheelchair accessible bathroom in Austin, Texas 

Traditional homes are commonly full of barriers restricting maneuverability for anyone with a disability. This situation is accentuated once any mobility device is required. Houses typically exhibit home entrances involving steps, narrow doorways, tight hallways with abrupt turns, cramped bathrooms inhibiting comfortable fixture use, inaccessible outside amenities, congested and unfriendly kitchens, and door locking hardware requiring hand strength and coordination. 

The concept of the accessible home has evolved beyond the basic grab bars and ramps to one in which accessibility is built into the basic design.  Everyone ages differently and has different needs and wants. These factors have brought about the need for Universal Design. This is the design of products, services, and environments usable by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability, or situation without needing adaptation or specialized alterations.  It provides the most significant safety and access for home guests or occupants and is undetectable when done well. The principles of Universal Design enable living in a home with more comfort and adaptability for people of all ages and abilities.

Home Accessibility Help

Fortunately for people needing increased accessibility beyond what their existing home offers, there is home accessibility help available in Austin, Texas, offered by T-Square Company. T-Square Company specializes in handicap accessible homes and barrier-free remodels having over 30 years of accessibility experience.  They provide customized disability home modifications for any age resident with special needs. T-Square Company offers a complete assortment of disability services to help cushion and adapt to any disability including barrier-free home design/build projects. Wider entries and hallways, accessible bathrooms and showers, accessible kitchens, ramped entrances, vertical platform lifts, stair lifts, elevators, and accessible rooms of any type are just a few of the services  offered. Every design is based on the specific needs and abilities of the client. 

David L. Traut, CAPS the owner and president of T-Square Company in Austin, Texas is one of the select group of professionals nationwide to earn the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, identifying him as a home remodeler and builder with the skills and knowledge necessary to remodel or modify a home to meet the unique needs of the older population, disabled owners, or their visitors. Additionally, he is certified in Universal Design in the United States and Australia. David has recently published a book called "Age in Place at Home: Adapting the Home Environment For All Generations". The book explains the importance of Universal Design in building taking you through every room of the home in order to increase home accessibility. It is available on Amazon.

AIPSTUD cover4-1

Never fear. You can adapt almost any existing home environment to overcome difficulties and enable you and everyone else in the family to comfortably live at home and move around safely with correct planning and know-how.

Your quality of life will improve if you follow the book's advice. The positive result is every family member has equal accessibility throughout your home's interior. IT JUST MAKES GOOD SENSE.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

 

Tags: handicap home modifications, disability home remodeling in Austin, elder construction, certified aging in place specialist, handicap accessibility, disability and special needs contractor Austin, bathrooms with disability access in Austin, Texas, barrier free remodeling, disability access contractor, barrier free design, disability and special needs in dripping springs, increase home accessibility, barrier-free remodels

Professional CAPS Services In Dripping Springs, Texas

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Fri, Sep 16, 2022 @ 12:09 PM

Suppose the current pandemic taught us anything concerning safety and institutional living situations. In that case, we now know it is much safer to remain in a barrier-free home surrounded by familiar surroundings and friends. During the stay-at-home mandates, everyone knew what Aging in Place meant because all family members lived within this inspirational and needed solution. We all became better acquainted with our homes and family members. The best way to approach a desire to Age in Place is by being proactive before an illness takes control of your life. At that point, you must deal with it reactively. There are many differences between home modifications and a home remodel. The main difference is home modifications involve investing in your familiar home versus spending during remodeling. Home modifications enhance your ADL (Activities of Daily Living), whereas remodeling deals more with aesthetics. An example of a home modification increasing accessibility includes a walk-in tub with easy access versus an aesthetically pleasing deep soaking tub. Investing in your home using the principles of Universal Design will benefit your future retirement years by making your home gradually conform to your needs. The point of involving this universal technique in periodic remodels within your home is that the alterations appear invisible until their advantages are needed when your housing needs change. A professional CAPS program graduate performs accepted home modifications to increase accessibility for any resident.  

What are CAPS services, and what does CAPS stand for? Let's be clear, it has nothing to do with hats or the associated industry. First of all, CAPS stands for Certified Aging in Place Specialist. The aging societal changes and inventory of inaccessible existing houses created the need for a CAPS certification program. This designation program, offered through the National Association of Home Builders, NAHB, in collaboration with The American Association of Retired Persons AARP, incorporates components of assessment, technical knowledge, and management skills related to proven home modifications used to help people stay at home safely and independently for a more extended time. The program was developed in 2001. The CAPS program connects responsible professionals with homeowners needing specialized accessibility services ever-increasingly. Professional CAPS services include home assessments, consultations, accessible designs, complete build-outs, accessible additions, and determining a positive path forward for any individual or their visitors requiring better accessibility and usage of their existing home, better fitting their personal needs.

Aging in Place Bathroom Remodel in Austin, Texas

The CAPS services offered by a CAPS professional vary from a complete accessible remodel beginning at the curb and ending inside the backyard. Additionally, you can improve the comfort of the most used rooms in the home, like bathrooms, kitchens, and family rooms. The detailed process begins with a home assessment. The precise modifications identified increase usability according to the homeowner's and family's personal needs. The housing modifications are designed for all generations within a home, from children to older adults. Ordinary homeowners with extraordinary challenges partner up with experienced CAPS professionals and their own families. Working as a team, the trained CAPS specialist and any family caretakers or therapists identify the day-to-day problems weighing on those with health limitations. Aging in Place services provided by a specialized remodeling contractor ensures all accessibility issues of the home are accomplished correctly. T-Square Company, located in SW Austin, Texas, is one of the specialized CAPS certified contractors.

The CAPS credential is a nationwide initiative, and many building and design professionals are taking advantage of the helpful training nationwide. David L. Traut, president, and owner of T-Square Company, is an active CAPS member (#1636580) and has participated in the program for over a decade. Furthermore, he has actively completed accessibility design/build remodels for over three decades for the private sector, HUD, and the VA.  Always check a person's credentials to verify the remodeler holds an active CAPS certification and is familiar with Universal Design. All registered CAPS program graduates and remodeling companies are listed in a national registry in Washington, DC. The information is found by calling 1-800-368-5242 or simply visiting their website at: http:www.nahb.org/en/learn/designations/certified-aging-in-place-specialist.aspx.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

T-Square Company in SW Austin, Texas, located at 14141 Highway 290 West, Suite 800, is a CAPS-certified remodeler and offers design/build Aging in Place projects using principles of Universal Design. Call 512-444-0097 to discuss your project today and learn how to achieve better accessibility within your existing home. Our knowledge and experience can help solve your personal needs within your existing home. Whether you need a safer shower, wider doorways, a zero-step entrance, or a more accessible kitchen to entertain your family and friends, T-Square Company is here to help.

Tags: barrier free access, aging in place remodeling, CAPS, aging in place home modifications, ADA compliance, custom tub to shower conversions, accessible home remodeling, CAPS remodeling techniques, aging in place services, bathroom modifications for disabled, ADA bathroom Austin, Texas, home modifications for independent living Austin, Austin Handicap Remodeling, universal design ideas, certified aging in place consultant in Austin, universal design remodeling contractor, handicap accessible remodeling, barrier free remodeling, disability remodeling, handicap accessible bathroom shower, veterans home remodeling in Austin, Texas, veterans home accessibility help in Austin, Texas, accessible toilets, ADA Compliant grab bars, home access, what is aging in place, accessible home builder in Austin, ADA Compliant Bathroom Vanity, the basics of aging in place, universal design home additions, CAPS-certified remodeling in Dripping Springs, Dripping Springs home accessibility solutions, Dripping Springs kitchen remodel, Dripping Springs bathroom remodel, Dripping Springs TX home modification services, Dripping Springs home modification services, Dripping Springs bath remodeling, Dripping Springs senior home remodeling, Dripping Springs special needs contractor, Dripping Springs aging in place specialist

Home Modifications for Aging in Place/How Do I Age in Place?

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Thu, Jun 23, 2022 @ 14:06 PM

While it may not be possible for every older adult to live independently in their existing home forever, there are many modifications that can be made to the home to increase safety and make it more functional for the homeowners to remain in their own homes longer. By gradually implementing home alterations that support aging in place, today’s seniors maintain their independence, and in the long run, may save a substantial amount of money on senior living.

universal design kitchen for aging in place in Austin

More seniors are opting to age in place than ever before. This trend is driven in part by the rising costs of long-term care, coupled with the rapidly growing senior population as the Baby Boomer generation ages. This particular generation is enjoying a more active, vibrant lifestyle than all other previous generations.  Increasing technology and the wider availability of personal services, such as home meal delivery, are making it easier for seniors to remain in their own homes independently. However, aging in place is not for everyone, especially when major disabilities are involved.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

As with any successful endeavor, You must establish a reasonable plan of action to age in place. This action will involve the input of all parties associated with the homeowner(s). The participants include caregivers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, extended family members, and any other professional medical personnel. Steps taken to move in a positive direction include: 

  1. Take note of your personal abilities and any difficulties you have moving around your home within specific areas.

  2. Seek out a professional assessment of your home provided by a CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist)member. This way you know that you are in good hands because sometimes the renovations required to accommodate a senior or any disabled person, regardless of age, are no easy task and instead take a lot of time, knowledge, and effort.
  3. If you live in a multi-story home, combine the main rooms for activity on the first floor. If this isn't possible, entertain the idea of installing a stair-lift, or better yet, an elevator in your home.

  4. Widen all doorways to 36-inches, and include pocket doors in certain areas to limit architectural barriers caused by swinging doors. Make sure there is at least one no-step entry into the house. Install lever-style door hardware when possible throughout the home.
     
  5. Install a slip-resistant floor throughout your home using wood flooring, cork, rubber, or porcelain tile. Be mindful of the chosen flooring's hardness in case of falls. Carpet offers too much resistance when using any mobility device causing tripping, falls, and instability. Ensure all transitions when changing floor materials are as smooth as possible and below 1/2 inches in height.

  6. Take note of any lighting issues producing dark areas in any room. Add layered lighting throughout the home to increase safety.

  7. Reduce the clutter in all rooms and provide a clear five-foot turning radius in every room.

  8. Reduce the number of doors on cabinets opting for full-extension pull-out shelves or drawers.

  9. As for the bathroom, provide a walk-in or roll-in shower with grab bars on all sides versus a garden tub. A hand-held and fixed shower head provides options for the user or caretaker. A roll under vanity is great for wheelchair use or applying makeup from a seated position. A comfort height toilet associated with grab bars reduces the discomfort of deep knee bends. 

  10. For the kitchen, make it as adaptable as possible to suit the needs of child helpers or granny in her wheelchair. Offer varying cabinet heights and work surfaces. Plan for the shortest work triangle formed by your main sink, refrigerator, and stove locations. Raise your dishwasher 9-12 inches above the floor making it easier to load and unload for everyone.

  11.  Last, but not least, comes the laundry. Install side-swinging doors of opposite swings for the washer and dryer enabling you to simultaneously access both machines from the middle. Don't forget to set the machines on a pedestal to raise them above the floor, in case you ever find yourself using a wheelchair.

Get Educated 

 

T-Square Company, located in Austin, Texas offers complete design/build Aging in Place Services to its clientele. David L Traut, the President, and owner of T-Square Company is national CAPS certified and has been doing successful accessibility remodels, additions, and construction for over 30 years. Some of our clients include HUD, the VA, and many private homeowners. Contact us today to see how T-Square Company can help you solve issues to streamline your home accessibility to Safely and Comfortably Age in Place in your existing home. 

 

 

Tags: aging in place remodeling, CAPS, aging in place home modifications, aging in place, aging in place remodels, Universal Design,, home modifications for independent living, aging in place specialist, aging in place services, aging in place design,, elder construction, accessibility remodelers in Austin, home modifications for independent living Austin, Austin accessible home remodeling, certified aging in place consultant in Austin, universal design building for a lifetime, aging in place home remodeling, home remodeling for disabled, home accessibility help in Austin, remodeling for elders in Austin, disability contractor in Austin, home modifications for elderly in Austin, handicap accessible remodeling, barrier free remodeling, disability remodeling, home modifications for Austin veterans, home access, accessible homes, universal design/build contractor, universal design vs. aging in place, home accessibility, what is aging in place, accessible housing, accessible homes in austin, modifying your home for a disabled child, accessible home builder in Austin, special needs contractor, home renovations for disability in Austin, the basics of aging in place, maneuvering in and around the accessible home, barrier free kitchens, universal design home additions, barrier free design, barrier free home design, Age in Place at Home, disability home remodeling near me, universal design building consultant, home modifications for aging in place

Pointers for Seniors To Age In Their Homes/Austin Aging in Place

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Wed, Apr 27, 2022 @ 11:04 AM

Everyone is living longer only to experience many life-challenging events during an extended lifespan.The desire to remain in your current home is not driven by age. This need is a reaction to and the result of life's experience. Any family living with a disability among any of its family members will always benefit from familiar surroundings. To increase safety and independence within your current home, certain modifications to increase accessibility and use are typically required. These modifications include but are not limited to wider doorways, the installation of ramps, inclusive kitchen modifications, accessible bathroom modifications, and the application of smooth, non-skid flooring. When planning on what modifications are needed, always make a list of the home's most problematic areas for any or all of its residents. This basic desire is creating unprecedented nationwide challenges and a niche market in the remodeling industry known as Aging in Place. The majority of Americans over the age of 45 want to continue living in an environment they are well acquainted with throughout their maturing years. These people are looking for safety, security, ease of use, and comfort for their forever home before they must vacate due to specialized needs. 

Aging In Place Home Modifications

But where did this commonly seen lack of home accessibility in nearly all homes come from? Perpetual, status quo building techniques, and affordability provide the answers. Over time, along with the exponential birth rate of the baby boomers in the late 40s and 50s, the need for more housing created sprawling American suburbs to accommodate the growing families. Developments sprang up with few architectural options while affordability was the main concern. Today, these same homes slowly and increasingly signify outdated and obsolete architectural barriers exposing a true lack of accessibility for the very people inhabiting them. The situation is ever more expanding in time since the greatest majority of individuals want to age where they currently reside. 

Aging In Place Remodel in Austin

According to the AARP, 80 percent of older homeowners overwhelmingly prefer to Age in Place, which means living in a home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level. People with disabilities are aging but healthy individuals are aging into a disability. Aging in Place strictly deals with the remodeling of existing homes. Therefore, to Age in Place, owners need to gradually modify their homes as they mature increasing access and safety using the principles of Universal Design before a life-changing event forces making sudden architectural changes. The Aging in Place market in the U.S. today is influenced by the increasing size of the aging population, the market desire to remain in one's home, a constantly increasing cultural diversity, and the aging housing stock associated with reduced affordability. The desire to remain in existing homes is driven by social attachments via a network of neighbors, friends, and family. Comfortable positive aging is a way of living rather than a state of being.  What's more, seniors who took a proactive approach in modifying their homes over time offer peace of mind to their loved ones who know their family members are living safely and independently in their homes. 

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

Clearly, the act of Aging in Place occurs during a period of time when mature homeowners or seniors have the ability to make decisions to better support an increased quality of life. There are three segments served within the Aging in Place marketplace. The first segment includes those homeowners without urgent needs. The second segment focuses on a group of homeowners with progressive health needs. The third sector involves those people who have undergone traumatic health changes or accidental injuries necessitating immediate modifications to the home. The choice to Age in Place does not mean the homeowner has to do everything in the future by themselves. Aging in Place principles supports responsible people living life with dignity and independence even when outside assistance is essential.

T-Square Company is one of Austin's premier Aging in Place contractors offering complete Aging in Place services from home assessments to design/builds. We have over 30 years of accessibility knowledge to share with our clients making their home life less complicated. We hold a nationally recognized CAPS certification (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) offered by the National Association of Home Builders, NAHB. Contact T-Square Company today to find out how to proceed toward an accessible second chapter of your life while remaining at home. We offer complete Aging in Place design services.

Download Our Free Aging In Place Remodeling Considerations Checklist

Tags: aging in place remodeling, aging in place home modifications, aging in place home improvements in Austin, accessible home remodeling, aging in place services, home modifications for independent living Austin, universal design ideas, certified aging in place consultant in Austin, aging in place specialist in Austin, universal design remodeling contractor, 7 principles of universal design, applying principles of universal design in Austin, barrier free remodeling, universal design/build contractor, why universal design, what is universal design in Austin, what is aging in place, universal design techniques, accessible home builder in Austin, the basics of aging in place

ADA Contractor/Austin, Texas/T-Square Company

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Mon, Mar 07, 2022 @ 11:03 AM

Millions of Americans are living longer and have more active lives.  While this group is embracing newly found and changing lifestyles, a need to revitalize their home environments has come about.  Identifying this major opportunity while developing the skills to interact with those needful homeowners has created a new type of elder remodeling.  A certified aging-in-place specialist or CAPS home remodeler has completed the coursework and training in how to help keep existing homeowners in their homes longer. They will be listed in a national directory compiled by the NAHB in Washington. The CAPS certificate holders act as ADA Contractors utilizing the ADA published rules. Their final accessible designs involve the ADA handbook as a guide but are not strictly held to all the ADA standards and regulations because they are funded with private monies. However, accessible CAPS designs are customized around the client's abilities. 

The National Association of Home Builders, in partnership with the AARP and Home Innovation Research Labs, created the CAPS program, which includes training and education on the technical, business management, and customer service skills essential to compete in the fastest-growing segment of the residential remodeling industry--home modifications for aging in place and ADA accessibility in Austin, Texas.  David L. Traut, CAPS the owner of T-Square Company in Austin, Texas is one of the select group of professionals nationwide to earn the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, identifying him as a home remodeler and builder with the skills and knowledge necessary to remodel or modify a home to meet the unique needs of the older population, disabled owners, or their visitors. T-Square Company is an ADA contractor in Austin, Texas abiding by the published ADA rules for their extremely disabled clients.

There are three categories of aging-in-place customers. Those who are simply and wisely planning ahead for their futures to remain in their present homes. The second category concerns those people who know they have a chronic medical disorder and need to prepare in advance for accessibility issues that will come as a result of their disease. People with diseases that are constantly causing increased physical or mental changes to their being are a good representative of this second group. The third group involves those people who either have had a chronic problem that has progressed severely altering their mobility or those who have sustained a life-altering tragedy such as being involved in an accident.  All of these groups will drive the future metamorphosis of existing inaccessible dwellings requiring bathrooms with disability access. The goal of an Austin ADA compliant remodel or an accessible bathroom design is to make the bathroom a safe space for everyone who uses the facilities. Aging in place services use design techniques to accommodate wheelchair users and can make the bathroom more comfortable for all generations with or without specific needs. It is important to carefully outline the scope of work during the remodeling of an accessible bathroom by first taking inventory of the user's capabilities, needs, and preferences.  All disability home remodeling or disability bath remodels in Austin must be done considering all the data provided by the client, his or her family, and any caretakers involved. CAPS certified remodeling and aging in place design must be carried out by aging in place specialists and residential remodeling professionals.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

 

Wheelchair Accessible Kitchen in Austin

 

Home Accessibility Help

Many people find themselves needing accessible homes for themselves or family members. There are approximately 30 million Americans using wheelchairs and the number of people who need accessible homes will continue to increase as disabled and aging people are finding more ways to remain living in their homes. One important way to increase independent living is making a home accessible to any individual personal needs. Home modifications can increase safety, accessibility, and independence for people who want to live independently.

The three main rooms involved in aging in place home modifications are the bathroom, the kitchen, and the family room in that order.  These areas make up the most occupied spaces of any home and will be connected by a designated accessible route.  Here we will need access through wider doorways, non-slip floor surfaces, and adequate cabinet and plumbing fixture accessibility.  What is more important is that we must observe safety for everyone as the baby boomers choose to age in place within their homes.  Just remember one thing and dispel any myth that aging in place construction and remodeling must appear institutional or out of the ordinary. When the work is done with style and taste it will only compliment the home.

An accessible bathroom should try to maintain a five-foot turning radius for wheelchair use if at all possible. Have your plumbing facilities brought into compliance to enable freedom and safety.  The use of grab bars within the tub or shower and around the toilet can be very helpful in ensuring your safety for maneuverability.  These should be installed at 34 inches above the finished floor to safeguard your use of them.  Having roll under capability for the new 34" high vanity can be very helpful while you are in the wheelchair.  Exact clearances of 27" high and 32" in width should be complied with underneath the vanity.  The proper safety equipment should be installed on the plumbing pipes that don't allow scalding of your legs. The toilet may need to be replaced providing a comfort level height that is around 18" in height for easier access.  The tub or shower may need to be altered to become only a shower with roll-in or possibly transfer capabilities.  All of these changes must be done along with the  ADA guidelines for your safety.

The door width requirement of 32" or more will be true for any room in the house if you are to enter them barrier-free.  The kitchen, your bedroom, and any other rooms you require accessibility to enter could be affected.  Even the closet door within your bedroom will need to be wide enough so that you can manage to get your clothes to dress.  Any other bedrooms that you may need to enter with your wheelchair will also need alterations.

The accessible kitchen is another story altogether.  You will need the roll-under capability as mentioned above at the kitchen sink, cooktop, or food prep area. Upper kitchen cabinet heights become an issue and require pull-down mechanisms for better access. Multiple height worksurfaces between 28 and 34 inches offer flexibility to all users. No matter what you end up doing, make sure to hire an experienced building professional who understands the ADA guidelines for your well-being. Contact T-Square Company at 512-444-0097 today for all your newly discovered accessibility needs.

Improve Handicap Accessibility

 

Tags: ADA accessible, aging in place remodeling, wheelchair accessible remodeling, wheelchair accessible baths and kitchens, CAPS certified remodeling in Austin, accessibility home remodeling in Austin, accessible home remodeling, Austin bath remodeling, disability home remodeling in Austin, disability bathroom remodeling in Austin, bathroom modifications for elderly, aging in place specialist, aging in place services, aging in place design,, Austin elder construction, bathroom modifications for disabled, disability home modifications, accessibility remodelers in Austin, ADA remodeling Austin, Texas, accessibility designs Austin Texas, Austin Handicap Remodeling, Austin Accessibility Design, Austin ADA vanity, bathroom modifications for disabled in Austin, TX, home modifications for disabled children, home modifications for children with disabilities, aging in place home remodeling, home remodeling for disabled, home accessibility help in Austin, universal design building contractor, universal design principles, disability and special needs contractor Austin, bathrooms with disability access in Austin, Texas, Austin handicap bathroom contractor, barrier free remodeling, handicap accessible bathroom remodeling, handicap accessible home modifications, Austin aging in place specialist, handicap access bathroom remodel, handicap bathroom remodel, ADA compliant wheelchair accessible showers, roll in shower design for wheelchair access, accessible home remodeling for disabilities, handicap accessible toilets, home remodeling professional, home remodeling contractors residential, disabled bathroom remodel, accessible bathroom remodel, specialty construction in Austin, home remodeling contractor residential, what is ada compliant, home access, accessible homes, what is an ADA compliant bathroom, ADA Accessibility, ADA Contractor/Austin, Texas